Nunsense | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

Nunsense 

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NUNSENSE, Marriott's Lincolnshire Theatre. Marriott's summer-fluff revival--an inexpensive five-person revue frugally performed on the set of the last show there--is the fourth production of Dan Goggin's one-joke musical I've seen. Where is Christopher Durang when you need him? Give this play an exorcism.

The punch-pulling spoof of stagestruck nuns does offer sporadic therapy for recovering Catholics, however: they can watch once-fearsome authority figures warble like the Andrews Sisters, tap-dance their sins away, and perform in a chorus line to the gospel rouser "Holier Than Thou." But Nunsense is insufficiently mean to suit the memories of many and too nasty for the truly self-sacrificial--which only means it faithfully mirrors the love-hate relationship even the most progressive Papists have with the church. The premise is chillingly amoral: 54 of the order have been lost to a tainted vichyssoise cooked by Sister Julia, Child of God. Curiously unfazed by the mass murder of their fellow sisters, the remainder throw a burial benefit for the "blue nuns" in the convent freezer.

Mark E. Lococo's staging boasts Alene Robertson as the hard-boiled Reverend Mother, Paula Scrofano as airheaded Sister Mary Amnesia, and Kathy Taylor as the ambitious Mistress of Novices. Kelli Cramer bubbles as irrepressible Sister Robert Anne, and Pamela Harden pirouettes through the role of Sister Mary Leo. This sister act really clicks. --Lawrence Bommer

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